Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP

Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP Blogs

Blog Authors

Latest from Marrs Ellis & Hodge LLP

Image Courtesy of Consumers Energy In an end to a court room battle that will surely set back landowners, a Travis County District court recently ruled that the Kinder Morgan can move forward with its Permian Highway Pipeline Project.  In the State of Texas, for-profit pipeline companies can use eminent domain to seize private land to build their pipeline projects. As long as the pipeline company follows the mandates of the legislature’s delegation of the…
Image Courtesy of the Associated Press The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (“PHMSA”), a regulatory agency under the Transportation Department, released a recommendation this month to Congress that increases penalties for certain pipeline protest activities. Specifically, the PHMSA called on legislators to expand an existing law that imposes fines and up to 20 years’ prison time for damaging and destroying pipelines in operation. The PHMSA suggests that Congress widen the law to add vandalism,…
Image Courtesy of Getty Images Judge Haywood Gilliam, a U.S. District Court Judge based in Oakland, California put a stopper in the President’s border wall ambitions when he issued a preliminary injunction to stop $1 billion of border wall funding. The money, which came in the form of a now halted transfer of funds from the Pentagon’s counterdrug funding, would’ve been used to expand and enhance border barriers. Further, though the possibility is untested and…
Image Courtesy of Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. President Trump issued two executive orders last month with the intent of speeding up the pipeline permitting process. The orders are the “Promoting Energy Infrastructure and Economic Growth” and the “Issuance of Permits with Respect to Facilities and Land Transportation Crossings at the International Boundaries of the U.S.” The first attempts to stop state governments from prohibiting pipeline development by applying authority created by Section 401 of the Clean…
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia As has been widely reported, Texas Central Partners (“TCP”), a privately owned, Dallas based company, has announced ambitious plans to build a 240-mile high-speed rail line (“HSR”) between Houston and Dallas. The project is estimated to cost $15 billion dollars and will use imported Japanese bullet trains to transport passengers between the two cities at airline-competitive speeds of around 300 km/hour. TCP estimates that the project will cut down on congestion…
Image Courtesy of Texas Legislature Online Texas landowner advocacy groups are working with State politicians to reform eminent domain. Eminent domain, though a deeply concerning issue for those affected and an important area of law in the context of the oil industry’s importance to the State economy, failed to receive serious treatment to address perceived shortcomings in its administration during the previous legislative session in 2017. A bill proposed by Sen. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham that…
Image Courtesy of Santa Fe New Mexican The owners of Highland Dairy Farm (“Highland”) in Clovis, New Mexico are being forced to close down due to chemical contamination which has been sourced to a nearby Air Force Base. The farm is owned by Art Schaap, a 54-year-old, 4th generation dairy farmer in CurryCounty. The property was contaminated by a blend of chemical toxins known as PFAS that spread from Cannon Air Force Base. Though PFAS…
Image Courtesy of Yahoo News A community in Mexico is reeling after the deadliest pipeline explosion in recent memory claimed over a hundred lives and injured dozens more. At the end of last month, a pipeline located in a poverty-stricken region of the State of Hidalgo was sabotaged causing a massive explosion. The pipeline tampering was carried out by a gang of fuel thieves who drilled a series of holes in the hope of stealing…
Image Courtesy of the U.S. Government Accountability Office There are currently some 2.7 million miles of pipeline transporting hazardous substances across the United States. These pipelines often run through multiple states and expose both remote areas and highly populated urban areas to accidents, operating mistakes, and intentional harm caused by hostile actors. Threats falling in the last category have traditionally been limited to physical attacks on pipeline integrity in attempts to cause harmful breaches. However,…
Image Courtesy of Travel Notes. Though the prolonged government shutdown failed to produce the funding necessary to construct the entire border wall, a pre-existing allocation of $1.6 billion will fund 33-miles of border barrier, with a portion of the barrier built in Texas. Construction of the partial border barrier will be split between Federal and private lands. The pre-construction efforts of the Texas portion have given rise to an unusual opponent, the National Butterfly Center.…